Amazon is continuing to expand its Echo line of smart speakers with the Echo Spot, a round device with a screen. The Echo Spot is smaller than its older sibling, the Echo Show, and takes up less room on a table top.
Those who enjoy the convenience of the screen on an Echo Show, but want a smaller device to fit in tight spaces such as a nightstand, may enjoy the Spot.
The Spot comes with a round screen, 2.5 in (6.35 cm) in diameter, compared to the 7.0 in (17.78 cm) screen of the Show. All of Alexa’s skills can be used on Spot, such as controlling your smart home, playing music, answering questions, checking your calendar, and more. Learn more at What Can Alexa Do? Here’s a New Way to Discover Her Skills.
With Spot you can do everything you can do with Echo Show, including make video calls, see song lyrics, watch videos and see search results. You can pair Spot with Echo Buttons to play games with Alexa. Check out => Echo Buttons – Making Alexa More Fun!
This video from Amazon introduces the Echo Spot:
The screen on the Spot is round, which is well-suited to many of its clock faces. Spot’s screen is a touch screen to help control Alexa. For example, you can swipe down from the top of the screen to open Settings.
The screen of the Spot is much smaller than the Show. Many videos show in a smaller square inside the round screen, though you can increase the viewing area to full screen. As the full screen is round, sometimes the corners are cut off in a way that affects what you’re viewing.
When making a video call, part of the screen is used to show your image, so you’re seeing a lot on the Spot’s small screen.
The resolution of the screen is quite sharp, so that even though you’re seeing a small, round display, the images are clear and colorful.
Some people may not be comfortable having an Echo camera in their bedrooms. While you can turn off the camera with a button on top of the Spot, I suggest covering the camera with a piece of clear tape.
The camera acts as a motion detector, so the screen illuminates and information is displayed when Spot detects movement. By covering the camera with clear tape, you can have privacy while still allowing the motion detector to work.
Like its siblings, Spot works with music services including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, TuneIn and iHeartRadio. You can connect an external device (such as your phone) using Bluetooth to stream music from other services.
Spot works with Multi-Room Music to play songs throughout your home. See, Amazon Multi-Room Music Syncs Songs on Multiple Echo Speakers.
Spot will show the lyrics of a song played using Amazon Music.
You can also ask Alexa to play Audible audiobooks using Spot. With Whispersync, Alexa will continue playing the audiobook where you left of listening on another devices.
While the speakers on the original Echo and the Echo Show work well, the smaller speaker of the Spot (1.4 in/3.56 cm) is noticeably less impressive, compared to the dual Echo Show speakers (each Show speaker is 2.0 in/5.08 cm). The sound is fine for Alexa speaking to you, but not great for enjoying music.
You can connect external speakers to the Spot, using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a cable, if you want better sound to come from the Spot.
In addition to the ways the Show can be customized, Spot has settings to let you choose your preferences. By swiping down from the top of the screen, you can choose settings such as clock faces, home screen photos and what information you want Alexa to deliver.
As of now, you cannot customize the font or the size of the letters and numbers on the screen.The numbers on the digital clock faces are quite large, but the ability to make them larger would help those whose vision isn’t ideal. I hope Amazon does update the Spot to allow that customization.
Clock faces come in a variety of styles, both for analog and digital. Currently, Spot lets you choose from 17 different faces, 10 analog and 7 digital. You can also create a custom screen with a photo you choose from your Amazon Photos library.
The faces come in different colors and styles. Some show moon phases, weather and/or the date.
You can have Spot turn on night mode automatically each evening to darken the clock face.
Alarms work on all Echo devices, though you may be more likely to use them with Spot as an alarm clock. Alexa lets you choose from a variety of alarms using the Alexa app. You can also ask Alexa to play a song, artist or playlist from Amazon Music as your alarm.
To choose an alarm sound, go to the Alexa app and choose Reminders and Alarms. Then choose which sound would be ideal to wake you from slumber in the morning. The Alexa app offers a variety of alarm sounds, much like a choice of ringtones for your phone.
For even more fun, check out the celebrity voices in the app. That’s right, you can have the voice of a celebrity greet you in the morning. Choose from Sharknado’s Ian Zierling or Tara Reid, Dan Marino, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Baldwin and more. (I’m hoping John Cleese of Monty Python fame will add his voice to Alexa’s alarms someday…)
You can hear the message on the Alexa app before you set your alarm so you make sure you get a giggle or a message of inspiration to greet you in the morning.
If you’re not quite ready to wake up when you hear your alarm, you can get Alexa to snooze for 9 minutes (as of now, that snooze period is not customizable). Either swipe the screen or tell Alexa to snooze to get the extra zzzz’s.
Echo Spot comes in white or black and is available from Amazon for $!29.99. Echo Spot on Amazon.
Do you like the idea of an Echo Spot that has a smaller screen? Would you like to have the convenience of Alexa on your nightstand? Would you like a celebrity voice to wake you in the morning?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!